Scarcity and Hoarding


In a physical economy, scarcity is the fundamental driver of value, such that, the rarer a commodity or service, the more valuable it is. That’s what gives gold its worth. And it is how the forces of demand and supply play a role in price determination. When the demand for a good is high and it is not easy to find, the value shoots. Even for us as humans, somehow, we appreciate our gadgets more when none of our peers have it; once it’s in the hand of everybody, it no longer appears valuable. It is the way crude oil is priced. And premium goods, and antique goods. The scarcity creates the value.

But hoarding is somewhat different — it’s when someone intentionally plugs the supply channel of a resource, creates an artificial scarcity (that holds everybody hostage) and begins to charge a unilaterally determined toll in the quest for disproportionate and unscrupulous profit making. This kind of posture is anti-progressive and a sure race to the bottom.

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